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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,007 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4007
Reviews: 1372
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,007 | Reviews: 1,372 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


4.61/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 22oz snifter; opaque jet black with a medium fizzy brown head that fades after a bit into a nice ring of thick foam. Leaves incredibly fine lacing coating as the liquid level falls.
Smell is slightly metallic, dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, sweeter notes like caramel and toffee, and slight dark fruit.
Taste is big and sweet at first, with chocolate and dark fruit; it soon moves through roasted malt and coffee and finishes bittersweet with hints of alcohol (nowhere near the 12% that it is) and the bitter chocolate/coffee aftertaste mingling with sweet chocolate and toffee.
Mouthfeel is huge and creamy, good carbonation.
Overall, this is a benchmark for imperial stouts. It's a perfect example of imperial stout flavor, without any fancy accouterments. It's simple, but it's very good at doing what it does. Delicious!

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2013 03:45:14 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of Bowers-Brew


4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Can't get much darker. Head is dense with small brown bubbles.

S - Coffee, vanilla, and chocolate dominate, but other smells float in the background.

T - As with the smell, complex notes of coffee, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate.

M - Creamy and smooth.

O - AleSmith has this style mastered. Most American stouts I've had seem to come up a bit short in smell and taste. Another great brewery out of San Diego.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 22:19:15 | More by Bowers-Brew
Photo of gabedivision

New York

4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured to a goblet glass

A- pours pitch black with a 1 finger mocha head that thins to a lace around the glass, visiable alcohol legs

S- rich brown sugar, intense dark and milk chocolates, roasted malt chararcters, some coffee notes, a touch of alcohol. a really good smelling stout

T- chocolate all over this thing, rich milk chocolate, sweet sugars, some,bitter dark chocolates, some sweet cherry middle of the mouth mixed with some raisin or dark fruits, a swish of alcohol on the end that kinda wraps around all the flavors and really brings them together

M- full bodied, milky, creamy, sweet all around low carbonation

O- a very enjoyable IS, very well blended and balanced. Extremely sweet, bold chocolate flavors. The only thing for me is that im not getting much of the coffee that it claims its brewed with, but all in all it is a great beer, cheers.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 02:00:48 | More by gabedivision
Photo of Furlinator


4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 03/12/13.

Pours opaque black with a huge tan head that settles to a nice film and a ring on top with heavy lace. Near perfection.

Smell is of bitter dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. Very nice.

Taste is roasted malt, cocoa, bitter black coffee and hints of dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is heavy bodied, syrupy, thick and viscous with medium carbonation. 12% is nearly undetectable.

This is the one that started my obsession with craft beer. I'd be hard-pressed to find a way to improve this beer (perhaps more dark fruit sweetness). Big, bold and world class.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 20:42:41 | More by Furlinator
Photo of Joshpu


4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6 Months old. Poured from the bomber to a snifter.

A: Poured black with a finger of tan head.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. A little booziness.

T: Big chocolate and coffee. A lot of roasted characteristics. There is some caramel sweetness as it warms, but the roasted characteristics really tame the sweetness. Slight booziness, but its very well hidden.

M: Medium to full bodied. It's actually a little creamy and very smooth for such a big beer. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall a great stout, such a big and bold beer, and yet still very drinkable. If you like a big roasty stout, this is it. Love how well the roasted characteristics tame the sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 06:56:53 | More by Joshpu
Photo of raynmoon


4.41/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottled 7/01/13

a: black, very black, cannot see through it, with a tan, mocha like head that is clinging around.

s: tons of hazelnut, vanilla, coffee beans, roasted malt. Not too strong, very sweet.

t: very balanced, not too much coffee (i've never been one to detect much coffee anyway), bitter roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a little tinge of some heat, which works nicely with the rest of the beer.

mf: very silky, very light carbonation.

Overalll, I quite like this a lot. Nothing too crazy since I had a few bottles of the Stone Espresso IRS back in the spring. This tastes very similar to that, but just more well executed. I can tell a bourbon barrel aged version of this would be awesome. A great vessel beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 07:06:00 | More by raynmoon
Photo of MagicJeff


4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into my RR tulip.

Appearance: Deep black with a nice mocha head. Looks great and head is retained for a while with nice lacing afterwards.

Smell: Boozy coffee notes. Slight roasted chocolate and toffee

Taste: Delicious slightly dark chocolate with a coffee finish--initially sweet but a pleasantly bitter aftertaste; some dark fruits, plum and raisin mid taste. Slight alcoholic burn on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Why the hell am I drinking this in August? Would be ideal for a post holiday dinner beer. I'm not complaining though, this thing is great. Goes down the hatch smooth for 12% ABV.

Overall: An awesome stout well worth seeking out. It is a task to drink by one's self, but is still very delicious and balanced.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 01:30:05 | More by MagicJeff
Photo of InVinoVeritas


4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look – This pours dark as to be expected, flawless example of the style; light is not passing through this one. Pretty good head, brown about an inch and lacing holds for a good time.

Aroma – Smell is maybe the only thing, which could be improved. However, I don’t think it’s that the aroma is lacking, it’s that every other characteristic is flying sky high.

Taste – WOW, just WOW!!! I taste dark chocolate, almost like dry chocolate, like used in baking. Coffee / toffee flavor, are there with unparalleled balance. ABV is in incognito and you only get a little, very little at that, burn on the back of the palette in the finish; careful ladies and gentlemen.

Mouthfeel – It’s silky, with spot on body. This was the first think that really impressed me.

Overall – This is amazing, as it’s one of the best, perhaps best imperial stouts I’ve ever tried. Have faith, this won’t disappoint and if it does, it’s time to check in the taste buds and start a new hobby.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2013 01:31:31 | More by InVinoVeritas
Photo of Smurf2055


3.78/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a medium tan four finger head.

Smell is light coffee, roasty, chocolate, right amount of sweetness.

Taste is chocolate, coffee, roasty, grainy, creamy. A lot like Founders Breakfast Stout, but more balanced.

Very well carbonated, bit of a chalky mouthfeel, but easy enough to drink. Cool that I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 05:37:48 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of socon67

New York

3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Impressive black pour that is syrupy thick and adheres to the glass. Mild foam head shrinks and stays. No lacing; more of a sticky coating.

S - Dark and roasted malts come to the nose. Strong chocolate smell. There is a bit of roasted coffee.

T - Rich chocolate favor and some hearty doses of dark malts. Some brandy notes give this a cordial flavor. Finish has a slight bitterness.

M - Very heavy and thick. This one was thankfully a bottle share. Enjoyable but a heavy stout for dessert.

O - A stout for the big boys. Not anything on the barrel aged, or infused with coffee or maple; this is just a big rich stout that is enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 01:32:41 | More by socon67
Photo of MCain04


4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this bottle up from BostonRyan when he swung through town, reviewing from tasting notes. Pours out dark with a big tan head. Coffee smell is nice but not as big as I expected. The taste is coffee but a lot of sweetness too, which is a big unbalanced. The mouthfeel is a little overcarbonated and not as full and chewy as I'd like. Still a huge fan of the beer but overhyped IMO.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 05:37:22 | More by MCain04
Photo of JMScowcroft


4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

AleSmith Brewing Company - AleSmith Speedway Stout, poured into a goblet.

Look - Pours dark oil black but not the absolute thickest I have seen, which doesn't really matter but is an element of look I felt I would mention. Nice soapy mocha head that sticks around for a bit. Tons of glorious chunky lacing.

Smell - Cola, rich chocolate, roasted coffee, barley, and a touch of piney hops.

Taste - Rich roasted coffee and a wave of velvety chocolate that is absolutely decadent. Alcohol taste is apparent.

Mouthfeel - Packs a punch! Hearty and heavy, throat and tummy hot from the 12% alcohol. All told it is still quite drinkable . I had no problem putting this one down (my gullet).

Overall - Let some of this warm! Hell this would age nicely as well. I see this particular brew all over, snag it once and give it a shot, I don't think you will regret it if you are into this style. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2013 17:42:25 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of BigPapa


3.38/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not a bad beer overall, seems a bit over rated. I would agree with beer bros rating on it more so. Doesnt have the strong coffee taste I expected and is a little more bitter than I would like. A little surprised on the lack of head with the poor as well.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2013 00:11:42 | More by BigPapa
Photo of DrDemento456


4.26/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This will be the second most expensive beer I ever purchased at 14 dollars a bomber, somehow I justified the 7 dollar 12oz pours, and also wanted to make this my Forth of July review. Also wanted to mention dispite the huge ABV this beer has excellent lacing.

A - Into my Unibroue tulip it pours well over an inch of deep creamy looking mocha head. Beer itself is a respectable pitch black very thick and also creamy.
S - First thing that jumps out at me is the interesting tango between anise and roasted coffee. Leading the back of each sniff I get some vanilla bean, espresso, and a strong sense of bakers chocolate.
T - Well damn it took forever for the head to go down a note not to pour so hard. First taste A very strong nip of anise and roasted malts, sort of stingy I never tasted anything like it. As I dive deeper I do get a pronounced dark chocolate, very rich and bitter coca, and fresh ground up coffee beans which in turn are also bitter. I do like after a few sips the acidic tone of the coffee rounds out a bit. As it warms though the flavors of anise take a backseat, the coffee also looses some sting, and the chocolate seems a bit sweeter. Really complex.
M - Very creamy and smooth. Goes down very smooth once it warms. Very velvety flavors.

Overall I could see how this would deserve such praise the coffee is strong and acidic like sting yet rounds out perfectly with the chocolate malts and anise after it warms. The ABV is so smooth I have had 7% stouts heavier in alcohol than this. Get it again though? Not sure I would justify a second since I am not rich but I would totally love to try it again on tap in the future. Just to see it taste even better.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 03:44:36 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of SebD

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice dark tan head that dies down moderately and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of dark chocolate, some coffee/espresso and dark roasted malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some dark chocolate, coffee, espresso, roasted malts, some molasses and a touch of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 19:41:11 | More by SebD
Photo of RichD

Rhode Island

4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep black with a 2 finger dark khaki colored head. This looks absolutely beautiful.

S: Smells of dark chocolate and some malts. I also catch some coffee, which is totally expected seeing as it says it's brewed with coffee on the label. I also pick up a slight alcohol smell. I also smell some dark fruits which are quite delightful.

T: Strong chocolate and coffee overtake my pallet. There's a slight warming alcohol burn. Also, there's some roasted malts and maybe a hint of vanilla. There's a sweet finish with a little bitterness from the coffee. This is definitely a delicious tasting beer.

M: A smooth, but heavy mouthfeel on this. This is definitely the epitome of a Russian Imperial Stout. There's some lingering effects from the alcohol which could improve, but I'm not one to complain. Especially since everything else was awesome.

Overall: This beer is definitely top 10 in its style, maybe even top 5. The chocolate and coffee work extremely well together as opposed to some other brews that allow both to stand alone. I mentioned a bit about some alcohol burn, but for 12% this is extremely impressive. There's nothing overbearing about this beer. When it comes to non-barrel aged imperial stouts, this definitely is right up there with the best of them. I now really want to get my hands on the different coffee variants and the barrel aged versions of this. For right now though, I'll stick with the deliciousness of the original. Alesmith has themselves a quality product on their hands.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 01:08:14 | More by RichD
Photo of Yesac


4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle.

A- Jet black opaque in color, desert sand tan head colored head. Nice even fine lacing on the glass.

S- Powerful dark roasted malt, hints of chocolate and espresso.

T- Along with smell, nose is dark delicious roasted malt, roasted coffee bean, dark bitter (and very delicious) chocolate with an espresso type bitter finish. The finish is outstanding. Even more rewarding as it warms.

M- Very well balanced here, a perfect weight body for this style (medium/heavy) and it lingers well and covers the palate without being too dry. The carbonation level is medium and dialed in to perfection. It leaves you wanting to frequently pick up the glass for another sip.

O- One of the best stout's I've ever had. This has it all. The mouthfeel and aftertaste are the highlights for me. Such a delicious and well rounded beer overall. Complex and flavorful without being too heavy and too big, it's just right. And the ABV is very well hidden at 12%. Wow.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 22:22:15 | More by Yesac
Photo of mooseo


4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into snifter.

A - Black as night with a colossal creamy tan head.

S - A very pleasing and complex aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit. Light alcohol fumes.

T - Milk chocolate, black coffee, roasted malt, and sweet toffee. Incredible balance throughout. Hints of dark fruit and vanilla cream. Finishes bittersweet with some roast and coffee notes.

M - Silky smooth, creamy, full bodied. Medium carbonation. Warming alcohol.

O - Simply a delicious stout. The bold chocolate and coffee flavors were the highlight for me, but everything fits together so well. This is an outstanding beer and stands as one of the best stouts I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 03:46:51 | More by mooseo
Photo of heygeebee


4.74/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased 18 months ago from Platinum.

A - Two finger perfect formed head, over a jet black body

S- Vanilla in oodles.

T - Vanilla, coffee, licorice , mild bitterness on back palate gives perfect balance

M - Medium not oily, amazing. Warming alcohol creeps up on you

O- World class.... Dangerous beer goes down all too easily. This truly is a beer with a Wow factor.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 01:26:59 | More by heygeebee
Photo of ivandm13


4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a snifter

Appearance: jet black with a thin tan head which subsides to an archipelago of lone bubbles

Smell: coffee, dark roasted malt, alcohol, and a light note of vanilla

Taste: coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. Alcohol is definitely present up front but smoothed and balanced by the other flavors but subsides and let you know it's still present while the coffee and malt linger on the palate.

Mouthfeel: smooth and full bodied but still quite light

Overall: extremely drinkable and smooth while still packing a potent dose. an amazing go to for me in the realm of year round and readily available imperial stouts. For me it rivals the best.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 01:20:08 | More by ivandm13
Photo of WelshBrewer


4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Appearance: Beautiful black with tan head, Nice head retention

Smell: chocolate, alcohol,

Tastes: Coffee, chocolate

Mouthfeel: Thick, smooth, just right on the hops

Overall: This is one of my go to beers in the Imperial Stout realm, it is readily available almost everywhere and the price is right up my ally, I keep a few on hand.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 16:12:14 | More by WelshBrewer
Photo of BierStein711


4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into weizen

Appearance: Jet black with beige head, four fingers. Excellent head retention, wonderful lacing

Smell: coffee, alcohol,

Tastes: herbs, coffee, cola, hop, and chocolate

Mouthfeel: Thick

Overall: Outstanding beer, well worth having in your fridge. Pairs great with savory foods, by the way!

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 04:40:54 | More by BierStein711
Photo of SteveTheDog


4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am admittedly more a fan of dark beers and had the fortune to be introduced to this one by a friend who cellars stouts (it was also upsold to me as being amazing before I ever tasted it so that's my only bias).

While pouring it, I felt like I was in that syrup-chugging scene from Super Troopers - I don't really know how to explain it more. It was so dark it was like looking into Ray Liotta's soul. The aroma oozed out of the snifter - chocolate, dark roast coffee, caramel, maybe a little vanilla. In contrast to my opening remark, the mouthfeel was not that of syrup or caramel but I'd more liken it to a dark chocolate covered espresso bean. This is just a fantastic beer. I saved this one for a night when I could just chill out and enjoy a sunset and a beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 04:01:37 | More by SteveTheDog
Photo of utopiajane

New York

4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as night with the viscosity of motor oil. Mocha colored head of thick foam that dwindles to a small island of bubbles and a thin film. Laces like a champ. Nose is chocolate, roasted coffee, dark roasted malts and a touch of cherry. A little alcohol on the nose but it is 12% after all. Malt goes doughy and deep as it warms and there is bread in this. Taste is huge alright. Greets you with espresso and plenty of roasted coffee flavors, then smooth doughy malt mid palate with some faint floral from the hops, unsweetened cocoa and the dark fruit, then a hint of the molasses aspect of the malt and a grainy feeling on the tongue. It finishes dry and toasted with the chocolate coming in again only sweet this time and with a delectable oily hop bitter. Mouthfeel is thick and sticky with good carbonation. Some alcohol on the palate. It’s the coffee that makes this one stand out and it’s done to perfection. This is truly an impeccable stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 12:00:30 | More by utopiajane
Photo of jzeilinger


4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pitch black with a thick caramel colored, creamy, sticky head, and sticks to the glass.

S - Coffee, vanilla, cream, dark roasted malt, alcohol, and some roasted toffee.

T - Flavor is even from start to finish with coffee, dark roasted malt, toffee, black anise, alcohol, and dark roasted chocolate. The alcohol warms the back of the throat on the way down and the dark roasted malt and coffee hang on for a lingering, dark chocolate bitter finish.

M - Full body and thick, sticky on the lips; coats the mouth with dark chocolate, light coffee, and some dark fruit.

O - Roasty, warm, and solid. If I would have any complaints it would be the significant alcohol presence in the flavor and mouthfeel and would rather have that intensity as a product of barrel aging.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 00:15:35 | More by jzeilinger
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,007 ratings.